Fight · Tonight

The Martial Arts Behind Hollywood's Greatest Fights

January 24, 2020

How much better would “Shakespeare in Love” be if Gwyneth Paltrow had thrown a tornado kick or two into ole’ Billy’s jaw? Or how about a Muy Thai match in the second act of Titanic?

Alas, we must settle for the few gems a year Hollywood cranks out that feature heart-pounding martial art fight sequences. But how authentic are these martial arts, showcased by our favorite actors? We’ve all seen the behind-the-scenes footage where the sweaty actor claims to have spent hours on end training with an expert, but does all that training actually translate to film? The answer is surprisingly nuanced.

Most films that feature a lot of choreographed fight sequences frequently use a combination of many different martial art styles. Unsurprisingly, this is due to the fact that no one martial art looks that great on film. It takes a variety of styles to make the spectacular fight scenes that movie-goers love. Here’s an inside look at some of Hollywood’s most iconic uses of martial arts.

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    Beginner Krav Maga - Los Angeles

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    Learning any form of self-defense is great, but what elevates a particular teaching is if it just as street'practical as it is classroom'effective. During this entry-level class, you'll pick up the basics of Krav Maga, a form of self-defense used by the Israeli Defense Forces. You'll learn Krav Maga's fighting stance and movement, various punches, kicks, and how to defend yourself against chokes, headlocks, and wrist grabs. At Krav Maga Worldwide LA, you'll engage in reality-based training that simulates real life violent confrontations. Learn from experienced instructors who are certified by the Israeli Ministry of Education AND the Krav Maga Association of America! With great practice and discipline, you'll find yourself becoming stronger both physically and mentally. Develop an aggressive fighting spirit without sacrificing safety!
    Beginner Krav Maga - Los Angeles

    11400 Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the fundamentals of Krav Maga, a form of self-defense used by the Israeli Defense Forces
    • Practice maneuvers that are not only effective, but also street-practical
    • Develop your physical and mental strength through drills and self'discipline
    • Train under the best instructors certified by both the Israeli Ministry of Education and the Krav Maga Association of America
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    3 positive reviews
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    Martial Arts Trial

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    Looking to spice up your workout while also learning some important skills? Try out this free martial-arts class where you'll learn self-defense techniques that could one day come in handy in a pinch! You'll start with a series of drills that will teach you the fundamentals of striking, grappling, throwing, and submissions. Along the way, you'll also get a great workout that will burn calories and build muscle. Once you're comfortable with the techniques, you'll get the chance to engage in some live sparring sessions with classmates. But the best part? For the entire class, you'll be learning skills and techniques that you'll be able to use for the rest of your life -- whether in a classroom, dojo setting or in a real-world self-defense application. So, why not try this class....just for kicks!
    Martial Arts Trial

    11512 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the basics of martial arts in a professionally-led, fitness-focused class
    • Execute a series of drills that will develop your skills in striking, grappling, throwing, and submissions
    • Get an incredible full-body workout as you train all of your core muscles
    • Develop very practical self-defense skills that could one day prove to be greatly helpful
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    1 positive reviews
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    Tai Chi Trial

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    When a style of martial arts has been practiced for hundreds of years, like Tai Chi has, you can bet it's effective! Come see for yourself in this free-trial Tai Chi class at the West LA School of Martial Arts. Practicing Tai Chi will help you develop both a better body and mind. In this class, you'll learn movements and poses that will get you in great shape by increasing your flexibility, agility, and strength, as well as giving you great mental health benefits. Tai Chi is built on foundation of mindfulness of your body and surroundings, with an emphasis on meditation, breathing, and coordination. It is likely that you'll feel an instant decrease in stress after this class. Plus, you'll learn how to improve your balance, which could help alleviate muscle pain and soreness. So, what are you waiting for? With all these benefits, there's no reason to NOT practice Tai Chi!
    Tai Chi Trial

    11512 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles

    • Learn the basics of the ancient art of Tai Chi in a professionally-led, all-levels-welcome class
    • Pick up techniques that will help you become more mindful of your surroundings and the movements of your body
    • Feel a boost in both your mental and physical health with this natural healing system
    • Get a confidence and energy boost that you'll certainly take home with you
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    1 positive reviews
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    Muay Thai

    Been hanging with friends over Mai Tais? Let's change that spelling a little, have you try something that's actually GOOD for you -- Muay Thai, a martial-art style that will get you in great shape and teach you important skills! With the help of an expert Watts instructor, you'll learn the basics of what's known as the "Art of 8 Limbs". You'll start slowly, but after a little bit of practice, you'll be able to work on your moves in real time with some live sparring. You'll soon be in the best shape of your life, and your self-esteem and confidence will be through the roof! And then if you want to follow up your Muay Thai with a celebratory Mai Tai, well, who are we to judge? You've earned it!
    Muay Thai

    4210 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley

    • Learn the fundamentals of Muay Thai, a martial art style that will leave you in the best shape of your life
    • Increase your self-esteem, focus, and confidence by working hard to reach goals
    • Receive expert instruction tailored to your individual needs
    • Make new friends in a welcoming environment
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    Kalari Ppayattu

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    Learn an artful and practical method of self-defense by practicing Kalari Ppayattu, a martial art from Kerala, India. Originally used in combat and self-defense, Kalari, called the "Mother of Martial Arts," is now a favorite of dancers and performers alike, as it is known for its strong form, grace and beauty. In this class, you will practice a set of strikes, kicks, grappling, and healing methods as you learn the fundamentals of this holistic martial art. Gain the fighting tools that encompass physical training inspired by animal movements and yoga, such as breathing techniques, core strengthening, weapon work, diet, physical therapy, and bodywork. Begin your physical and spiritual journey today!
    Kalari Ppayattu

    1570 W. 35th St, Los Angeles

    • Learn the fundamentals of Kalari Ppayattu, an Indian martial art and life practice
    • Practice a set of strikes, kicks, grappling, and healing methods
    • Improve your flexibility and increase your strength and stamina
    • Unify your mind and body while bringing positive energy to your life
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    3 positive reviews
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    Capoeira Trial (Long Beach)

    If you're looking for more than just your average fitness class, then Capoeira is definitely something you should try! This African-Brazilian martial art form combines elements of dance, fighting, music and acrobatics. Surprisingly enough, it also doubles as a killer workout and useful self-defense system! Practice various kicks, blocks, takedowns, and punches, accompanied by high-energy live music to get you pumped up. As you progress, you'll discover how fascinating of an art Capoeira can be, graceful or combative as any situation dictates, all the while building up muscle strength and gaining tons of self-confidence and having a blast!
    Capoeira Trial (Long Beach)

    5423 Village Rd, , Long Beach

    • Enjoy a unique combination of dance, fighting, music and acrobatics through the art of Capoeira
    • Get a great workout practicing various kicks, punches, blocks, and takedowns
    • Learn useful self-defense techniques as you build muscle tone and self-confidence
    • No experience necessary
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    Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals

    Have you been grappling with your lack of fitness and self-discipline lately? Turn your life around by grappling with something else -- namely, a Jiu Jitsu opponent! Watts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai Academy wants to introduce you to this wonderful martial art form that will get you in great shape, teach you self-respect, and show you how to handle yourself in a tricky situation. With the help of an expert instructor, you'll learn the basic moves, slowly at first, but eventually getting up to full speed with some live sparring! You'll grapple, throw, counter, and use submissions to get into the best shape of your life! The start of your transformation is only one class away!
    Jiu Jitsu Fundamentals

    4210 E Los Angeles Ave, Simi Valley

    • Learn the fundamentals of Jiu Jitsu, a beautiful martial art that will give you the skills to defend yourself
    • Start slowly, working on the moves in isolation, and then hit the mats for some full-speed sparring
    • Work with an experienced instructor who will give you personalized feedback to help you develop your abilities
    • Meet new friends in a warm and welcoming environment
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